I admit it: I was a smoker. I tried, like so many many other young people, to be cool. In doing so, I ended up getting addicted to the “good old cigarette.”
My story of smoking, one that involved me starting out as a smoker at parties and becoming a regular smoker, is not a unique one.
However, in 2016, my thinking changed. I had had enough with assuming that smoking made me cool and made the conscious decision to quit smoking. It was clear to me that doing so wouldn’t be easy, and so I started to research what I could do to make quitting as easy as possible.
Luckily, I decided to try vaping. I visited the vape shop around the corner in Vienna, received fantastic advice from the owner, and found it much easier to stop smoking from that moment on. It was an eye-opening moment to experience what a fantastic innovation vaping was, and still is, especially after seeing practically every single smoker around me fail in their attempts to quit.
So far so good in my attempt to quit smoking, but I soon realised just how difficult it is to obtain liquids and nicotine. With advertising and online shipping banned, and the first vape shops closing down, I began to feel the real-life consequences of overzealous regulation and ineffective policymaking.
It was at this point that I decided to turn my passion into my profession.
Therefore, it is my honour to announce my appointment as Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance. I joining this great alliance at a critical time for vapers everywhere, when the product that helped so many of us quit smoking and improved our lives immeasurably is under attack from policymakers worldwide.
In the past few months, the World Vapers’ Alliance has shown its strength: we now have a thriving partnership of 17 associations from around the world, representing thousands of vapers all over the globe.
Now is a crucial time for vapers to tell their stories and to defend their right to vape. We must combat misinformation and ensure the voice of vapers is heard where decisions around vaping are being made.
As we move forward, I will support our partners and members to defend the rights of vapers, to continue to prove that vaping is the best way to quit smoking and support the cause of those who want to quit using the most reliable method in existence.
This is my story of vaping. What about yours? How did vaping help you? Send us your stories on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook or feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org